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My ministerial colleagues, Distinguished participants and guests

I am delighted to participate in the 10th edition of Aero India.

More than 250 Indian companies and more than 300 foreign firms are here.

684-PM AT Aero India-2015 Air Show (5) There are defence ministers, senior officials and hundreds of business leaders from around the world.

A big welcome to each of you!

This is the largest ever Aero India. This reflects a new level of confidence within our country and global interest in India.

To many of you, India is a major business opportunity.

We have the reputation as the largest importer of defence equipment in the world.

That may be music to the ears of some of you here. But, this is one area where we would not like to be Number One!

Our security challenges are well known. Our international responsibilities are evident. We do need to increase our defence preparedness. We do have to modernize our defence forces.

We have to equip ourselves for the needs of the future, where technology will play a major role.

As a nation of one billion people, we also have huge requirements for managing internal security.

We are increasingly integrating technology and systems into it.

These opportunities make Aero India an important international event.

684-PM AT Aero India-2015 Air Show (2)

For me, this is not just a trade fair for defence equipment.

This is a mega meeting of one of the largest global supply chains, with the most advanced technology and complex equipment

And, a platform to launch India`s defence manufacturing sector.

A nation with a strong defence industry will not only be more secure.

It will also reap rich economic benefits.

It can boost investment, expand manufacturing, support enterprise, raise the technology level and increase economic growth in the country.

In India, the defence industry in the government sector alone employs nearly 200,000 workers and thousands of engineers and scientists. They produce an output of nearly 7 billion dollars annually. It also supports a very large pool of small and medium enterprises.

Our defence industry in private sector is still small. But, it already employs thousands of people.

This is despite the fact that nearly 60% of our defence equipment continues to be imported.

And, we are spending tens of billions of dollars on acquisitions from abroad.

There are studies that show that even a 20 to 25% reduction in imports could directly create an additional 100,000 to 120,000 highly skilled jobs in India.

684-PM AT Aero India-2015 Air Show (10)

If we could raise the percentage of domestic procurement from 40% to 70% in the next five years, we would double the output in our defence industry.

Imagine the impact in terms of jobs created directly and in the related manufacturing and services sector!

Think of the spin off benefits on other sectors in terms of advanced materials and technologies!

That is why we are focusing on developing India`s defence industry with a sense of mission.

This is why it is at the heart of our Make in India programme.

We are reforming our defence procurement policies and procedures. There would be a clear preference for equipment manufactured in India.

Our procurement procedures will ensure simplicity, accountability and speedy decision making.

We have raised the permitted level of Foreign Direct Investment to 49%. This can go higher, if the project brings state-of-the art technology.

We have permitted investments up to 24% by Foreign Institutional Investments. And, there is no longer a need to have a single Indian investor with at least a 51% stake.

Industrial licensing requirements have been eliminated for a number of items. Where it is needed, the process has been simplified.

We are expanding the role of private sector, even for major platforms. Our goal is to provide a level playing field for all.

We speak in terms of national capacity, not public sector or private sector.

Offsets system is a crucial instrument to develop and upgrade our defence industry.

We have introduced significant reforms in our offsets policy. I am acutely aware that it still needs a lot of improvements. We will pursue them in consultation with domestic industry and our foreign partners.

I want our offsets policy not as a means to export low-end products, but to acquire state-of-the art technology and skills in core areas of priority.

Government`s support for research and development is essential for defence sector. And, it should also be accompanied by a degree of assurance on purchase.

We are introducing a scheme to provide up to 80% of funding from the Government for development of a prototype in India. And, we are also launching a Technology Development Fund.

For too long, our research and development has been confined to government laboratories. We must involve our scientists, soldiers, academia, industry and independent experts more closely in research and development.

Last month at the Army Day Reception, I had asked to meet our officers and soldiers, who had made the best innovations in our defence equipment. I was impressed with what I saw.

Finally, we have made our export policies clearer, simpler and predictable. But, we will also abide by the highest standards of export controls and international responsibility.

We will expand our exports, but we will ensure that our equipment and technology do not fall into the wrong hands.

India`s record in this area has been impeccable and it will remain so.

I am pleased with the positive impact of our policies.

Indian private corporations have responded with enthusiasm. There is new excitement in our small and medium scale sector. Many of the biggest global firms are forming strategic partnerships in India.

Some of them have already begun using India as part of their global supply chains or engineering services.

In September 2014 Dynamatic Technologies and its collaborator Boeing inaugurated a plant in India to manufacture critical parts for a Boeing helicopter that is sold globally. I understand that it was a day after Make in India was launched.

I am pleased to learn that the first set of parts is ready for shipment today.

But, we still need to do more.

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We have to further reform our acquisition and approval processes. We must indicate a clear roadmap of our future needs.

This must take into account not only new technology trends, but also the nature of future challenges.

We must pay attention to developing supply chains, with emphasis on innovation.

We must bridge the gap between prototype development and quality of production.

We must develop a financing system suited to the special needs of this industry. It is a market where buyers are mainly governments, the capital investments are large and the risks are high.

We must ensure that our tax system does not discriminate against domestic manufacture in comparison to imports.

More broadly, our defence industry will succeed more if we can transform the manufacturing sector in India.

We need great infrastructure, sound business climate, clear investment policies, ease of doing business, stable and predictable tax regime, and easy access to inputs.

We need a national industry that produces advanced materials, the most sophisticated electronics and the best engineering products.

Over the last eight months, we have worked hard to create that environment for you.

Above all, we need a vast pool of highly skilled and qualified human resources for the defence industry.

Our aerospace industry alone would need about 200,000 people in another ten years.

We will set up special universities and skill development centres to cater to our defence industry, just as we have done in atomic energy and space.

I have especially invited the State Governments to come here with package of facilities to attract investments in defence manufacturing.

Distinguished guests,

This is a new era for the defence industry in India.

It will be no longer enough to buy equipment and simply assemble them here. We have been doing this in the past, without absorbing any technology or developing our own capabilities. In some areas, we are where we were three decades ago.

Frankly, our public sector needs to do much better than they are doing now. We have to exploit their huge assets and a vast potential. At the same time, we have to make them accountable.

We want to develop an industry is dynamic. It should constantly stay at the cutting edge of the global industry.

I am confident that India will emerge as a major global centre for defence industry.

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We have the basic building blocks for it in India; and, a large nation requirement.

We will build an industry that will have room for everyone – public sector, private sector and foreign firms.

From sellers, foreign firms must turn into strategic partners.

We need their technology, skills, systems integration and manufacturing strength.

The nature of industry is such that imports will always be there.

In turn, they can use India as part of their global supply chain.

Defence budgets around the world are becoming tighter. India`s frugal but sophisticated manufacturing and engineering services sectors can help reduce costs.

India can also be a base for export to third countries, especially because of India`s growing defence partnerships in Asia and beyond.

A strong Indian defence industry will not only make India more secure. It will also make India more prosperous.

Aero India can be a catalyst in realizing our goals. That is why I am here today.

So, as we look at these wonderful aircraft and enjoy the amazing fly pasts, I also hope we can get some business done.

And, sow the seeds of successful new ventures and partnerships – to give our people new opportunities, to make our nations safer, and the world more stable and peaceful.

Thank you.

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Text of PM’s Address at the 95th Meeting of AIU and National Seminar of Vice Chancellors
April 14, 2021
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Baba Saheb Ambedkar had a universal vision: PM Modi
Baba Saheb Ambedkar gave a strong foundation to independent India so the nation could move forward while strengthening its democratic heritage: PM
We have to give opportunities to the youth according to their potential. Our efforts towards this is the only tribute to Baba Saheb Ambedkar: PM

Namaskar!

Present with me in this programme, Gujarat Governor Acharya Shri Dev Vrat ji, the country’s Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank ji, Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani ji, Education Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendra Singh ji, Chairman of UGC Prof. D.P.Singh ji, Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ami Upadhyay ji, Association of Indian Universities President Prof. Taj Pratap ji, all dignitaries and friends.

Today when the country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, the occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar ji's birth anniversary also connects us with that great yagna and also with the inspiration of the future. On behalf of the grateful nation and all the countrymen, I pay my respectful homage to Babasaheb.

Friends,

During the freedom struggle, millions and millions of our freedom fighters dreamt of a harmonious and inclusive India. Babasaheb made the beginning in realizing those dreams in the form of the Constitution to the country. Today India is creating a new future and achieving new dimensions of success by following the same Constitution.

Friends,

Today, the 95th meeting of the Vice Chancellors of Association of Indian Universities is taking place on this auspicious day. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University has announced the establishment of 'Babasaheb Samarasta Chair'. The four books written by Shri Kishore Makwana ji have also been released on Babasaheb's life, his thoughts and ideals. I congratulate all the dignitaries involved in these efforts.

Friends,

India has been the mother of democracy in the world. Democracy has been an integral part of our civilization and our way of life. Babasaheb laid a strong foundation to independent India so the nation could move forward while strengthening its democratic heritage. When we read and understand Babasaheb, we realize that he was a person of universal vision.

There is a clear vision of Babasaheb's philosophy in Shri Kishore Makwana ji's books. While one of his books introduces Babasaheb’s “Jeevan Darshan” (philosophy of life), the other focuses on “Vyakti Darshan” (individual philosophy). Similarly, the third book highlights Babasaheb's “Rashtra Darshan” (national philosophy), whereas the fourth book “Aayam Darshan” will introduce his philosophy of dimension to the countrymen.  These four philosophies are no less than modern scriptures in themselves.

I would like our new generation in colleges and universities to read more and more of such books. All these dimensions, whether it is the inclusive society, the concern for the rights of the Dalit-deprived society, the question of upliftment and contribution of women, or Babasaheb's vision on education and especially on higher education, will offer an opportunity to the youth of the country to understand Babasaheb.

Friends,

Doctor Ambedkar would say:

"My three revered deities are -- Knowledge, self-respect and politeness.” Self-respect comes with knowledge and makes a person aware of his or her rights. Through equal rights, social harmony emerges and the country progresses.

We are all familiar with Babasaheb's struggles of life. The position that Babasaheb reached after so many struggles is a great inspiration for all of us. Our education system and universities have this responsibility to carry the country forward on the path shown by Babasaheb Ambedkar. And when it is the issue of common goals and shared efforts as a nation, collective efforts become the means of accomplishment.

Therefore, I think the role of Association of Indian Universities becomes very important. AIU also has the legacy of scholars like Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ji, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Smt. Hansa Mehta and Dr. Zakir Hussain.

Dr. Radhakrishnan ji would say: “The end-product of education should be a free creative man, who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature”.

It implies that education should be such which should liberate the person, so that he can think openly, and make something new with a new thinking. He believed that we should develop our education management as a unit of the entire world. But at the same time, he emphasized the Indian character of education. This becomes even more important in the global scenario today.

Here special issues were released on the new 'National Education Policy' and plan for its implementation. These issues are detailed documents how National Education Policy is a futuristic policy, a policy of global parameters. You all scholars are familiar with the nuances of the National Education Policy. The purpose of education that Dr. Radhakrishnan ji spoke about is reflected in the core of this policy.

I am told that this time the theme of the seminar is - 'Implementing National Educational Policy-2020 to Transforming Higher Education in India'. All of you deserve congratulations for this.

I have been constantly discussing NEP with experts. National Education Policy is as practical as its implementation.

Friends,

You have dedicated your entire life to education. You all know very well that every student has his own capability and capacity. Based on these capabilities, students and teachers also have three questions.

First: What can they do?

Second: What is their potential if they are properly taught?

And, third, what they want to do?

What a student can do is his inner strength. But if we add institutional strength to his inner strength, his development becomes expansive. With this combination, our youth can do what they want to do. Therefore, the country’s special emphasis is on skill development. As the country is moving ahead with the mission of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat, the role and demand of skilled youths is also increasing.

Friends,

In view of the strength of skills, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had placed greater emphasis on the collaboration of educational institutions and industries decades ago. Today, the country has immense opportunities, and there are new industries of modern times. India is being looked upon as a future centre of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D printing, Virtual Reality, Robotics, mobile technology, geo-informatics, smart healthcare and defence sector. The country is taking huge steps to meet these requirements.

Indian Institutes of Skills are being set up in three big metropolitans of the country. The first batch of the Indian Institute of Skills has already started in Mumbai a few months ago in December. The Future Skills Initiative was launched with NASSCOM in 2018. This initiative offers training in more than 150 skill sets in 10 emerging technologies.

Friends,

The new National Policy on Education also provides for NETF which emphasizes the maximum use of technology in education. We want all universities to be multi-disciplinary. We want to give flexibility to students so that they can complete courses anywhere easily through the easy entry-exit and Academic Bank of Credit. Every university in the country will have to work together to achieve all these goals. All the Vice Chancellors have to pay special attention to this.

A huge skill pool will be created in our universities for the new possibilities that we can create in the country. All of you are requested to work in this direction more expeditiously and the work should be completed within a stipulated time.

Friends,

The country is rapidly transforming the lives of the poor, Dalits, the victims, the exploited and the deprived following the footsteps of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Babasaheb talked about equal opportunities and equal rights. Today, schemes like Jan Dhan accounts are leading to financial inclusion of every person and through DBT money is reaching directly to their accounts.  The BHIM UPI that was launched for the digital economy has become a great strength for the poor today. Today, every poor person is getting a house and free electricity connection. Similarly, work is in the progress to provide clean water to villages under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

When there was a corona crisis, the country stood up for the poor and the labourers. There is no discrimination among the poor and the rich in the world's largest vaccination program. This is the path shown by Babasaheb and these are his ideals.

Friends,

Babasaheb always emphasized on women empowerment and made many efforts in this direction. It is with this vision that the country is giving new opportunities to its daughters today. From toilets at home and schools to combat roles in the army, women are at the centre of every policy of the country today.

Similarly, the country is working to spread Babasaheb's message to the people. The places associated with Babasaheb are being developed as Panch Teerth.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to dedicate the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre. Today, this Centre is emerging as a centre of research on social and economic issues and on Babasaheb's life.

Friends,

Today, we are close to 75 years of independence, and we have goals for the next 25 years. The country’s future, the future goals and successes of the country are linked to our youth. It is our youth who will fulfill these resolutions. We have to give opportunities to the youth of the country to the best of their ability.

I am confident that our collective resolve and conscious efforts of the education world will realise this dream of a New India.

Our efforts and the hard work will be our tribute to Babasaheb.

With these good wishes, I once again thank you all very much. I wish you all the very best on Navratri. I also extend my special greetings on the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Many thanks.